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Can you RAID three Caviar Blacks. How Reliable? Suggestions?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi GUYS i@m going to buy 3x 1tb caviar blacks:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136533


I'm willing to use them in raid 5. would I experience problems? because I see a lot of people writing complaints about the problems they've had with raid and caviar blacks. would you advice me anything else with similar performance and more reliability?


there are also these re4s:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...&Tpk=re4%201tb

which look absolutely the same but are a lot more expensive
whats the deal?
Edited by Devran - 2/12/11 at 10:31am
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post #2 of 11
I have two Caviar Blacks in Raid 0 for about 14 months now, no problems
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
so do you have any ideas what re4s are for?
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post #4 of 11
Google Search-Western Digital RE4=http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=30
Mid page-click on More Features
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post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devran View Post
so do you have any ideas what re4s are for?
There were issues with some WD Black drives some time ago because WD removed / disabled certain features for them to work well in RAID configurations. However, the current-generation Blacks specify that you can use them in Desktop RAID configurations - i.e. HostRAID / FakeRAID / Firmware RAID. So things like Intel ICHxR controllers are "acceptable" configurations.

WD RE drives are supposedly designed for enterprise-level 24x7 operation, paired with hardware RAID controller cards.

Best suggestion... is that if you intend on storing any "important" data on the array, you should invest in your drives accordingly. I have both Black and RE drives configured in various RAID arrays at home. Important data only goes on the RAID-Edition drives. Less important data goes on the Black-arrays.

I hope you have a hardware RAID controller card to go with your RAID-5 array though. It's not necessarily required, but having a dedicated processor perform the parity calculations instead of using your system CPU is generally a good idea.

By the way... With RAID-5, performance is heavily dependent on the number of spindles you have in your array. With only 3-drives, the minimum required, don't expect any exceptional performance...
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post #6 of 11
Yeah I wouldn't go RAID 5 without having a dedicated RAID card, if you're using onboard I'd go raid 1 or 10
     
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot! After reading your comments I guess I'll be doing RAID10 with four 1.5tb RE4s.

Are these RE4s so reliable that I wouldn't even need raid10, instead that raid0 is enough?

Of course everybody values their data
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post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ComGuards View Post

WD RE drives are supposedly designed for enterprise-level 24x7 operation, paired with hardware RAID controller cards.

I have both Black and RE drives configured in various RAID arrays at home. Important data only goes on the RAID-Edition drives. Less important data goes on the Black-arrays.
Interesting sentiment CG. So how reliable do you think they actually are?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Devran View Post
Thanks a lot! After reading your comments I guess I'll be doing RAID10 with four 1.5tb RE4s.

Are these RE4s so reliable that I wouldn't even need raid10, instead that raid0 is enough?

Of course everybody values their data
If you're going to do RAID 10, why bother with RAID Edition units? As long as you pick drives that behave properly in a RAID configuration, you'll be OK. RAID10 gives more than enough fault tolerance, IMHO. Also, Caviar Blacks have the same 5 year warranty as the RE units.

On the matter of RAID 0, NO drive should be considered reliable enough for that configuration. RAID 0 is good for either a) quickly and easily replaceable data or b) quickly and easily replaceable data.
Edited by parityboy - 2/13/11 at 10:06am
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post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devran View Post
Thanks a lot! After reading your comments I guess I'll be doing RAID10 with four 1.5tb RE4s.

Are these RE4s so reliable that I wouldn't even need raid10, instead that raid0 is enough?

Of course everybody values their data
No, because RAID0 offers no redundancy.

RAID0 will increase drive performance, not reliability. You should not store essential data on a RAID0 array. While it will be accessed faster, each additional drive in the array increases the likelihood that the array will fail, making it less reliable than a single drive outside a RAID0 array. I store my important files on a non RAID RAID0 disk that is manually mirrored to another backup drive. My OS and programs reside on my RAID0 array where they benefit from the added throughput, while not necessarily putting me at risk if I lose everything (fresh install at worst).

The issue with non RE drives used to be that TLER (Time Limited Error Recovery) was turned off. With this turned off, sometimes error handling can hang and cause the disk to be marked as unreadable, and the drive will fall out of the array. There is a WD TLER utility that you can find by searching this forum that will allow you to turn TLER on within some WD drives. I'm honestly not sure if it is an issue now.
Edited by _02 - 2/13/11 at 10:31am
    
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by _02 View Post
I store my important files on a non RAID disk that is manually mirrored to another backup drive.
why? isn't raid1 better than that?
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